11 Dec, 2017 - Russian rail operator boosts rivalry on Asia-Russia rail routes

THE Russian government has approved the establishment of a new rail cargo company that will be a direct competitor to Transcontainer, Russia's No 1 intermodal operator.

The new operator is expected to lower container rail rates in Russia 10 to 15 per cent, according to transport analysts.

Rail rates between Russia and China are currently priced between US$5,500 and $8,000 per container.

Transcontainer has dominated the Russian rail cargo market for the past several years. In the first nine months of the year, the company's container cargo traffic rose 17.7 per cent year on year to 1.31 million TEU, reported IHS Media.

Russian railway company RZD owns a controlling stake in Transcontainer. RZD operates 45 container terminals in Russia and 19 in Kazakhstan and has 67,000 containers under its management.

As a result, Transcontainer has been able to operate on most of RZD's rail routes linking China and Russia and has typically been the sole option for rail cargo delivery from the Asia Pacific to Russia.

The new operator will be able to compete with Transcontainer on most Asia-Russia rail routes.

Furthermore, Transcontainer will be sold to private investors no later than April, and the new logistics operator will be established by RZD from the private-sale funds and will function as a separate company.

An RZD spokesman said the company has enough skilled personnel to organise a new, full-scale logistics business, which will include both operator's services and forwarding.

The proposal has received the support of the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.

07 Dec, 2017 - Japan's trade surplus up 21pc in October, exports up 2pc

A WEAKER yen and healthy growth in China has helped push up Japan's export volumes, resulting in Japan's trade surplus increasing by a seasonally adjusted 21 per cent in October compared with the previous month.

October marked the 24th straight month of trade surplus and demonstrates how external demand has strengthened the economy after several rounds of monetary stimulus by the Bank of Japan weakened the yen, reported London's Financial Times.

Solid exports and robust demand from China suggest net trade will continue to support the economy in the fourth quarter and bolster the outlook for growth.

The figures indicate "its a clear recovery in exports to Asia", Barclays economists Yuichiro Nagai and Yukito Funakubo said in a note, with exports to China "continuing to show strong growth".

In October exports increased two per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous month, while imports were up 1.2 per cent. Compared with 2016, exports were up 14 per cent in value terms in yen, while imports rose 19 per cent, reflecting depreciation of the yen.

In volume terms, exports grew by 3.8 per cent compared to October 2016, while imports were up 3.2 per cent.

By destination, exports to China were up 26 per cent on a year ago, with Japan supplying much of the capital equipment to tool its manufacturing sector.

Exports of semiconductor equipment to China were up 123 per cent year on year to JPY67.6 billion (US$603 million); overall machinery exports increased 45 per cent; and vehicle exports were up 26 per cent.

24 Nov, 2017 - Shipowners warned to prepare for sulphur cap on fuel, or face repercussions

THE International Maritime Organization (IMO) has emphasised that ships that do not adhere to the upcoming 0.5 per cent sulphur cap on fuel oil may be deemed 'unseaworthy", invalidating charter parties and liability insurance cover.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the European Refining Technology Conference (ERTC) in Athens, IMO technical officer Edmund Hughes stressed that the global reduction from the current 3.5 per cent sulphur limit would "enter into force on January 1 2020 without any delay."

Addressing concerns over the continued availability of heavy fuel oil (HFO) for shipowners that opt for the installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems, known as "scrubbers", Dr Hughes said the bunker industry would "have a part to play in ensuring high sulphur fuel oil continues to be supplied," reported UK's The Loadstar.

The installation cost of a scrubber system for a large containership is estimated to be US$10 million. However, this could be recovered relatively quickly, given the price difference between HFO and low-sulphur fuel oil, which currently stands at $360 and $540 per tonne respectively.

On a slow-steaming 10,000 TEU ship, burning 150 tonnes of fuel oil a day, the daily saving would be $27,000 on current prices, repaying the outlay for the scrubber within a year or so.

However, not everybody is keen to install a scrubber system, such as Hapag-Lloyd's chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen who described scrubber systems as being "very inefficient".

He said Hapag-Lloyd "would not" be installing them on its ships which would from January 2020 either burn low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Hapag-Lloyd has inherited 17 ultra large container ships from its merger with UASC that were built to be "LNG-ready".

However, they would need to have part of a hold converted to house the gas tanks which could take away 500 TEU of available cargo capacity. Mr Habben Jansen said that a final decision on the shipping line's fuel strategy would be made "within six to nine months".

Indeed, the timing is critical, given that Hapag-Lloyd currently charters-in 99 vessels of its total fleet of 214, meaning that the carrier would need to discuss its "no scrubber" requirement with shipowners that may want to install the technology.

20 Nov, 2017 - Belt and Road, e-commerce and smart logistics to be discussed at 7th ALMC

THE two-day seventh Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) to be held November 23-24 at the Hong Kong Convention will spotlight important topics, including the Belt and Road Initiative, e-Commerce and smart logistics.

The event, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is expected to attract about 2,000 industry experts from some 20 countries and regions.

Some 70 industry experts and representatives of international brands will speak at the ALMC. Minister of Transport, Thailand, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, will deliver a keynote speech at the opening session.

HKTDC assistant executive director Stephen Liang said: "As the Belt and Road Initiative is turned from vision to action, and the rapid development of logistic technology is speeding up changes in the global supply chain, there is huge demand for logistics and efficient ocean shipment services in Asia.

"As the largest event of its kind in Asia, the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference strives to provide the ideal platform for the industry to learn about the latest development and explore business opportunities."

This year's exhibition will feature over 120 exhibitors showcasing supply chain management, logistics, maritime and related services. The E-Commerce Support and Tech Applications zone will debut with a range of fundamental toolkits, such as document management and e-Commerce tools including internet security and real-time tracking system, offering professional and comprehensive services and solutions.

13 Nov, 2017 - US reaps trade deals worth US$250 billion during Trump's visit to Beijing

US President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing has resulted in the US winning business agreements from China worth US$250 million and include the sales of US-made chipsets, jet engines and auto parts.

Contract signings are typically a feature of visits to Beijing by foreign head of states and are intended to silence critics of China's "unfair" trade policies.

Many of the contracts signed during a ceremony attended by Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to represent purchases Chinese mobile phone makers, airlines and other customers would have made anyway that were saved for signing during Mr Trump's visit, reported London's Independent.

Others signings included a cooperation framework on shale gas and a memorandum of understanding on industrial development.

Mr Trump pledged to change "one-sided and unfair" trade relations with China but said he does not blame Beijing for taking advantage of the US in the past.

The US President said trade between the US and China has not been "very fair" for the US and cited the large trade deficit between the two global powers.

His Chinese counterpart said Beijing believes cooperation between the two countries is the "only correct choice" and that relations between the sides have entered a new historic starting point.

Several corporate CEOs are in Beijing as part of a delegation led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Some in the US business community have expressed concerns that contract wins could come at the expense of resolving long-standing complaints over market access restrictions in China.

"This shows that we have a strong, vibrant bilateral economic relationship, and yet we still need to focus on levelling the playing field because US companies continue to be disadvantaged doing business in China," said American Chamber of Commerce chairman William Zarit.

06 Nov, 2017 - German box ship hit by vessel while moored at Dong Nai River terminal

THE 2,824-TEU Liberia-flagged TRF Kaya, was struck by an another containership while moored at the Cat Lai Container Terminall in the Dong Nai River in Ho Chi Minh City.

The identity of the containership involved in the collision that took place at 5.00 a.m. on November 2 is not yet known, reported Kiev's Shipping Bulletin.

The 2007-built TRF KAYA, managed by Germany's Reederei F Laeisz GmbH, sustained portside aft damages. Several containers were crushed and one FEU reefer with frozen fish went overboard.

Locals were reported to have attempted to loot the goods which fell from the crushed containers into the river.

30 Oct, 2017 - Increasing number of megaships make N Europe port calls

THE five new mega-ship gantry cranes deployed at the HHLA's Tollerort terminal in Hamburg that handled the 13,400-TEU Cosco Netherlands have far greater capacity than was needed.

More than 7,000 TEU were loaded and discharged from the vessel before it left the port, as part of a test to assess the readiness of the five gantry cranes to handle the 18,000 TEU-plus mega-ships that are rapidly being added to the Asia-North Europe trade, reported IHS Media.

"Processing the Cosco Netherlands was a first test of our new mega-ship gantry cranes," HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort managing director, Thomas Koch, was quoted as saying.

In the first half of 2017, ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU or more called at Hamburg port 54 times - more than five times the number recorded in the first half of 2015. The number of calls by vessels ranging in size from 14,000 TEU to 17,999 TEU has more than doubled.

New analysis from SeaIntel shows that the total number of weekly services between Asia and Europe has been steadily declining, mainly due to the phase-in of the larger vessels that has brought an element of capacity injection into the trade incommensurate with the demand growth.

SeaIntel looked at the percentage of vessels per week in the trade that were 14,000 TEU in size or above and found that over the past year, the share of mega vessel departures grew from five per cent to 45 per cent.

"From now until 2020 we will see the additional delivery of more than 90 vessels with sizes in excess of 14,000 TEU, and if we focus purely on the vessels sized 18,000 TEU and above, we will see almost a doubling in the numbers," the analyst stated.

With the current orderbook of mega vessels, SeaIntel said by the end of 2020, 88 per cent of the ships on the Asia-Europe trade would be in excess of 14,000 TEU.

More notably, the Asia-Mediterranean trade will by end-2020 be 83 per cent comprised of vessels in excess of 14,000 TEU, and will be entirely unable to absorb more than a small portion of the spillover from the North European trade.

"Looking at the Asia-Europe data specifically, we are already close to the limit of what this trade can reasonably expect to absorb until 2020 in terms of vessel upgrades. Further bouts of mega-vessel ordering in the 18,000-plus TEU category is highly likely to result in excess capacity issues," SeaIntel noted.

The global average call size in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 12.6 per cent year on year to 1,076 containers, according to data supplied to IHS Markit by the world's largest container ship operators.

Ships with capacity larger than 10,000 TEU accounted for 10.7 per cent of port calls in the first quarter, up from 8.5 per cent in the same period the previous year, according to the data, which covers 879 terminals in 500 ports globally.

16 Oct, 2017 - CMA CGM opens 20,000 square metres of warehousing in Lebanon

The CMA CGM group has opened the first logistics storehouse in Lebanon, located in Bekaa Valley in Taanayel.

The move is part of the group's strategy to offer bespoke logistics solutions to their reefer customers in the richest agricultural, commercial and industrial region of Lebanon.

With a total area of 20,000 square metres, the new logistics storehouse can store up to 1,000 empty TEU. The new facility will enable the group to respond to requests for import/export shipments from Lebanon's largest agricultural area, reported the American Journal of Transportation.

This logistics solution also facilitates the recovery of empty containers, thus reducing costs and saving considerable time.

"CMA CGM is constantly innovating its service offerings for the Lebanese market, and the opening of the new Taanayel dry port brings us closer, creating new opportunities to serve our Bekaa clients," said CMA CGM Lebanon general manager Joe Dakkak.

"We have always believed in our country's potential, and this new investment is a true example of our faith in Lebanon's economic development," he said.

Fifty kilometres from Beirut and 124 kilometres from Tripoli, the Taanayel warehouse is at the crossroads of the Lebanese coast and Damascus - one of the most important trade routes in the Middle East.

CMA CGM's Beirut office employs 200 people.

03 Oct, 2017 - Warning of thousands of polluting factories face closures in China

THOUSANDS of factories across China face closure under Beijing's anti-pollution drive. The shuttering of polluting factories is viewed by some in the supply chain sector as a move to push manufacturers of low value goods out of China.

"The sentiment is that these heavy polluters mainly make low value items and China is willing to allow these industries to move out of China and to India, Cambodia, etc," international director and co-chairman of the AmCham Shanghai Supply Chain Committee, Gary Huang, was quoted as saying in a report by IHS Media.

The tough enforcement of regulations enacted in 2013 is being carried out by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. This action has already shut down thousands of factories in the north of the country. The inspectors have now switched their focus to auditing manufacturers in the southern provinces.

"We understand that Guangzhou will be under review later in the fourth quarter and going into 2018. I suggest [shippers] talk to their suppliers and be vigilant about monitoring this process. And also have a contingency plan," said Mr Huang.

Sources in China report that governmental environmental inspection efforts started to move from northern China to central China in the third week of September. "We believe this will create an impact on Ningbo shipping volumes as there are numerous small manufacturers involved in producing lower end consumer articles of all sorts," a supply chain expert was cited as saying.

He said the factory audits would scrutinise businesses involved in decorative home products, such as Christmas ornaments, as well as manufacturers involved in producing electric circuit boards. Some of the closed north China factories were expected to resume production by mid-October, after China's Golden Week holiday, but there has been little clarity on the issue.

The factory closures are spread across China's main manufacturing areas, from Jilin province in the north to Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, with increasing focus on the giant inland cities of Chongqing and Chengdu. Guangzhou factories are next on the radar of the Ministry of Environmental Protection's crackdown as inspectors begin to turn southwards.

Low value cargo is transported by ocean, and the factory closures were having an impact on container volume being exported from China, according to an APL spokesperson. He said this was particularly apparent for north China exports.

Kuehne + Nagel also said they were "clearly" seeing a decline in container volume being exported from China, particularly in the north of the country.

27 Sep, 2017 - Hutchison Ports Pakistan breaks national vessel handling record

PAKISTAN's first deep-water container terminal, Hutchison Ports Pakistan, has breached the nation's vessel handling record for the fourth time this year as the terminal operator achieved the milestone, handling 2,683 moves in just over 13 hours on the 8,562-TEU vessel Hyundai Courage.

During the vessel's stay, the terminal achieved a vessel operating rate of 203.4 container moves per hour and a gross crane rate of 32.3. During the call, a total of 3,501 TEU were handled, the Daily Times of Lahore reported.

The terminal operator improved its record of 1,953 moves in just 11 hours, achieved on the 8,562-TEU vessel Hyundai Global. In less than six months, since starting test operations on December 9 2016, Hutchison Ports Pakistan has broken the productivity record four times.

"In terms of our efficiency and productivity, we are now operating as well as any terminal operator around the world does," said CEO Captain Rashid Jamil.

18 Sep, 2017 - Cargo handling gear market said to hit US$89.4 billion in 2024: study

RAPIDLY growing e-commerce along with advancements in logistics is lifting the cargo handling equipment market worldwide, says New York's Goldstein Research.

"Geographically, Asia-Pacific dominates the global cargo handling equipment market with more than 36 per cent share in 2016," said the Goldstein report entitled "Global Cargo Handling Equipment Market Outlook 2024".

More than 90 per cent of goods transported are containerised. Thus, to deal with the huge container traffic advanced cargo handling equipment is needed such as RTG cranes, forklifts and tractors, said its report.

"Marine ports and airports authorities are using rental equipments to ensure greater profitability coupled with implementation of advance technology cargo handling equipments.

"The global cargo handling equipment market accounted for US$62.5 billion in 2015 owing to growing e-commerce business across the world.

"In 2015 global e-commerce business accounted for $1.3 trillion. Global cargo handling equipment market share is projected to reach $89.4 billion by 2024, further; the market is expected to expand at 4.4 per cent from 2016 to 2024," said the report.

Global container port volume reached 700 million TEU in 2015 which is expected to expand with rising e-commerce. Geographically, Asia-Pacific dominates the global cargo handling equipments market with more than 36 per cent share in 2016, it said.

This market report also includes provides competitive outlook ABB Group, Liebherr Group, Kalmar Global, Toyota Industries Corporation, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Seehafen Wismar GmbH, Terex Corporation, JBT Corporation etc.

11 Sep, 2017 - Worldwide air cargo up 11.8pc in July, offsetting weak China exports

CHINA's air freight exports grew in July by just eight per cent, down from a first half average of 19 per cent when the country registered double-digit growth every month over that period. On the other hand, import growth remained strong at 21 per cent year on year.

According to WorldACD, the slowdown in China has not impacted the overall air cargo market, which continues to be buoyant when compared to its performance in recent years. High growth from Hong Kong, India, the UK, Singapore and the Netherlands kept the industry healthy, reported London's Loadstar.

Worldwide overall volume grew 11.8 per cent in July year on year, led by Europe (up 14.2 per cent), Middle East and South Asia (MESA), which was up 13.5 per cent, Asia Pacific (up 13 per cent), and South America and Africa stood at 3.6 per and 2.6 per cent respectively. While pharmaceuticals were the fastest-growing sector, up 17.6 per cent, general cargo outpaced other product categories at 12.6 per cent.

In July, worldwide yields registered year-on-year growth of 7.8 per cent in US dollars, with Asia Pacific achieving the best growth at 13.2 per cent.

04 Sep, 2017 - Milaha to commence box shipping service between Pakistan and Qatar

QATAR-based maritime transport and logistics conglomerate, Milaha, is commencing a direct weekly service between the port of Karachi, Pakistan and Hamad port, Qatar.

The new service, called Pakistan Qatar Express service (PQX), will have a transit time of four days, making it the fastest direct connection between the two countries. The service will be operated by two 1,700 TEU vessels.

The PQX will also set up a second weekly service to and from Mundra, India, which will add to Milaha's existing Mundra call as part of the India Qatar Express service (IQX), reported The Medi Telegraph of Genoa, Italy.

The port rotation of the PQX is: Mesaieed, Mundra, Karachi, Hamad, Mesaieed rotation. The first vessel will depart from Karachi port on September 7 and arrive at Hamad port on September 11.

Commenting on the launch of the new service, Milaha's CEO Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai said: "We have been vigorously ramping up our operations between Qatar and key Asian markets in response to growing demand from traders, importers, and exporters on both sides.

"Our new PQX service will cater mainly to perishable products and other food stuff, and will increase options for customers in Pakistan and India to access Qatar and other Arabian Gulf markets. This is part of Milaha's ongoing commitment to support the growing trade between Qatar and its partners by delivering tailor-made, cost-efficient supply chain solutions."

Milaha currently calls at two ports in Oman (Sohar and Salalah), three ports in India (Nhava Sheva, Mundra, and Kandla), and one port in Kuwait (Shuwaikh), offering enhanced connectivity and transit times to Qatar and the region. The carrier is actively evaluating further expansion of services.

28 Aug, 2017 - BlackRock may inject up to US$879m in HMM through potential share deal

HYUNDAI Merchant Marine (HMM) is in talks with American global investment management firm, BlackRock, to invest between KRW600 billion and KRW1 trillion (US$527 million to $879 million) in the financially distressed carrier, the Korea Economic Daily reported, citing investment banking and shipping industry sources.

An HMM spokesperson told American Shipper that it has "had a talk with BlackRock, but nothing was definite yet."

If the deal materialises, the New York-based firm would become the second largest shareholder in HMM after the state-owned Korea Development Bank, according to the Korea Economic Daily.

The South Korean government has pumped KRW1.5 trillion into HMM to keep it afloat in the wake of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping.

In the second quarter of this year HMM posted a loss of KRW173.7 billion, compared to a profit of KRW216 billion during the same period in 2016, according to a filing on the DART Repository of Korean Corporate Filings. Second quarter revenues were up 22 per cent year on year at KRW1.24 trillion on the back of higher volumes.

23 Aug, 2017 - Japanese loan for Cambodia to develop Sihanoukville port

THE Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed an agreement with Cambodia to provide a loan of JPY23.5 billion (US$215.2 million) for a new container terminal at Sihanoukville, reports Fibre2Fashion.com of Bopal, India.

Sihanoukville is the only deepsea port in the country on the southern economic corridor, a road connecting Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Bangkok.

The agreement aims to improve the logistics environment in Cambodia and promote trade, according to a JICA press release. The funds will be allocated to dredging, procurement of cargo-handling equipment, consulting services and the development of container terminal, access roads and marine routes.

The project will increase the container cargo handling capacity at the port, expected to become a logistics transfer hub for ASEAN to 450,000 TEU, one-and-a-half times current capacity.

Since 1999, Japan has provided continuous support for improving the infrastructure and enhancing the management capacity of the port. In June 2017, it acquired equities in the port authority of Sihanoukville.

14 Aug, 2017 - Containerships to pay less under new toll structure for Panama Canal

AMENDMENTS to the Panama Canal tolls structure could enable containerships to pay less, while LNG and LPG carriers pay more.

The new structure, which has been approved by Panama's government, is scheduled to start on October 1. It comes in response to a recommendation from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) board of directors aimed at safeguarding the competitiveness of the waterway.

For the containership segment, the approved tolls structure offers more attractive rates per loaded containers on the return voyage - applicable only to neopanamax vessels deployed on the canal route in the head and back haul legs.

Furthermore, it is applicable only when the utilisation rate of the northbound transit is higher or equal to 70 per cent, and the time lapse between the northbound and the southbound transit is not greater than 28 days, reported Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive.

To promote the use of the services provided within Panama's logistics hub, any additional days that the vessel requires to perform port-related activities in the Panamanian terminals will not add to the 28-day period.

Container/breakbulk vessels will be reclassified into the general cargo segment, thus resulting in more attractive tariffs, ACP was cited as saying. Additionally, the new structure modifies the tolls for to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) segments, reflecting the changing demand for the route.

The current Panama Canal toll structure, which has been in place since April 1, 2016, calls for each vessel segment to be priced based upon different units of measurement. For example, containerships are measured and priced on TEU, and LNG and LPG vessels are based on cubic metres.

The current structure also includes, for the first time, a customer-loyalty programme for the container segment, where frequent container customers will receive premium prices once a particular TEU volume is reached.

31 Jul, 2017 - Amsterdam Schiphol's H1 cargo traffic rises 8.7pc to 866,713 tonnes due to Far East trade

AMSTERDAM Airport Schiphol, Europe's number three cargo airport, saw demand rise by 8.7 per cent year on year in the first half of 2017 to total 866,713 tonnes, driven by Far East traffic.

In terms of freighters, the airport welcomed an additional 153 full freighter flights in the first half, bringing the total to 8,954, reported London's Air Cargo News.

Half-year figures for the Far East were 154,866 tonnes for outbound, up 12.2 per cent year on year, with inbound figures improving by 8.3 per cent to 149,836 tonnes.

The airport's European figures were also boosted by demand originating in Asia, much of which transits Baku, Azerbaijan, and Moscow, Russia, to and from the Far East and Amsterdam.

Europe inbound figures for January to June were 60,320 tonnes, up 29.1 per cent, with Europe outbound figures at 61,641 tonnes, up 39.2 per cent.

A strong flower trade drove inbound Latin America volumes for January to June up to 59,817 tonnes, an increase of 31.4 per cent, while exports for the period stood at 35,275 tonnes, down 6.3 per cent.

Imports from Africa in the first half were down 3.5 per cent to 59,409 tonnes, and exports to the region declined by 15.3 per cent.

North American imports dropped 6.3 per cent year on year, although there was an improvement in June, to 72,739 tonnes during the year to date overall. Exports to the region continued to rise with a 10.5 per cent increase to 82,379 tonnes over the first six months.

Inbound Middle East figures for January-June decreased by 4.4 per cent to 43,557 tonnes, with outbound figures to the region for the first half of the year up seven per cent at 61,973 tonnes.

"We are pleased that our continued focus on developing innovative solutions, such as our Compliance Checker and the Milkrun, for our growing base of e-Commerce and pharma customers has helped to deliver strong growth in the first half of the year," said head of cargo at the airport, Jonas van Stekelenburg.

24 Jul, 2017 - GAC delivers multi-origin shipment to new Azerbaijan oil field

GAC's teams based in the UK and Russia have successfully delivered a mega shipment for pile driving and swaging works in the northern Caspian Yuri Korchagin oil field that one of Russia's largest oil companies is developing.

The shipment was delivered to LUKOIL subcontractor GT Sever (GT North) for the Korchagin field Stage II development. GAC was appointed to coordinate multiple loads totalling 500 tonnes of equipment from the UK, Netherlands and Germany.

The move included a block conductor and pile fastenings to be installed at the culmination of Stage II of marine operations development currently underway in the Russian sector of the North Caspian Sea, reported GAC's Hot Port News.

The time-critical operation started with pre-carriage pick-up of cargo from England and the Netherlands, with the last-minute addition of an out-of-gauge item from Germany, for delivery to Rotterdam.

GAC pulled out all the stops to obtain the required permits to enable the 20 units - the two heaviest of which weighed 105 tonnes each and were 15 metres long - to be loaded on to a vessel sailing for Poti in Georgia.

When it arrived 11 days later, the vessel could not berth for two days due to poor weather conditions. When the port reopened, the company arranged and supervised the direct uploading of the cargo using the ship's gear, onto waiting trucks at an alternative terminal. Then, the trucks started the final 900 km journey by road to Baku in Azerbaijan.

17 Jul, 2017 - EU fines Spain US$3.4 million for failing to end union-controlled ports

THE European Union Court of Justice fined Spain EUR3 million (US$3.4 million) for failing to deregulate the country ports, reports American Shipper.

Spain's attempts to end the closed shop system that dominates ports and harbours - as it does in major North American ports - have been met with crippling dock strikes with more planned for later this month.

While the court said Spain showed "goodwill in cooperating" with the investigation, Madrid still failed to deregulate stevedoring in Spanish ports 29 months after being so ordered.

The EU first urged Spain to deregulate in December of 2014, stating the nation was failing to comply with European stowage rules.

The European Commission called for a fine of EUR134,107 a day that Spain neglected to deregulate the ports, but the courts settled on a fine of EUR27,552 per day covering 108 days.

Madrid passed a new law on port stowage services, which aroused more labour obstruction, causing the imposition of the fine to be delayed.

The European Commission has also referred Spain to the court again for failure to implement EU rules on whistle-blowers. The 2014 rule on whistle-blowers is in response to infringements of the Market Abuse Regulation and requires nations to protect whistle-blowers and personal data.

10 Jul, 2017 - World's newest and sixth-largest box line officially established in Tokyo

JAPAN's "K" Line and its partners continue to make progress toward the establishment of One Network Express.

The world's sixth-largest liner shipping company was officially established in Tokyo with One Network Express (ONE) bringing together the container divisions of Japan's three major carriers in a joint venture that will start operating in April 2018.

"K" Line, MOL, and NYK established a holding company in Tokyo and an operating company in Singapore. ONE has the world's sixth-largest fleet, with 250 ships and a capacity of 1.38 million TEU, and the joint venture integrates the three companies' container shipping businesses, including their terminal operation businesses outside Japan.

The carriers had planned to set up the joint venture by July 1, but were delayed by regulatory setbacks. However, on July 3 the lines said in a statement that they had received all the approvals necessary to comply with local competition laws in regions where compliance was required. The only country to reject the liner shipping merger proposal was South Africa, but the carriers plan to appeal the ruling.

The US Federal Maritime Commission voted down the carriers' proposed "tripartite agreement," saying the Shipping Act of 1984 did not provide them authority to review and approve mergers, but the ONE carriers expect to secure permission to operate in the US by the time the new company starts operations in April next year.

The shareholding structure will have NYK holding 38 per cent and "K" Line and MOL each holding 31 per cent. MOL, NYK, and "K" Line are currently individual members of the vessel sharing agreement with Hapag-Lloyd-UASC and Yang Ming Line. The carriers have said they expect higher rates and greater container volume to come from the membership with THE Alliance, according to IHS Media.

03 Jul, 2017 - Evergreen Line provides sea freight services for Alibaba.com members

CHINESE retail giant, ALIBABA.com, is offering suppliers in China the option of booking sea freight services online with guaranteed space and prices, an arrangement made possible by collaborating with Evergreen Line.

The Taiwanese shipping line has appointed Evergreen Logistics Corporation as a designated provider of customised, comprehensive logistics solutions for Alibaba.com members opting for its sea freight services, reported AJOT.

The growth of e-commerce has resulted in small, fragmented orders from global buyers. Taking note of the need for logistics services of smaller volume shippers, Evergreen Line is collaborating with Alibaba.com to allow shippers to search for freight rates and reserve cargo space on the Alibaba.com platform directly.

Once a booking is confirmed, the selected price is also locked-in. The rate will not alter regardless of how the market price changes.

In addition to this new direct booking facility, Evergreen Line is also responding to the needs of smaller shippers for one-stop logistics services by appointing Evergreen Logistics as a supplier of such services for Alibaba.com suppliers opting for Evergreen Line's sea freight services, contactable at the online booking point.

No matter if it is a trucking arrangement, customs clearance or documentation requirement, Evergreen Logistics can provide cost-effective and time-critical solutions to shippers who may not be familiar with such procedures.

At this initial stage of its partnership with Alibaba.com, Evergreen Line will be offering Alibaba.com suppliers the booking facility on routes from China's main ports to Israel and South American.

Israel service (FEM) - ports of loading: Shekou, Yantian; ports of discharge: Ashdod, Haifa in Israel. South America service (ESA) - ports of loading: Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian; ports of discharge: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Brazilian ports including Itaguai, Santos, Paranagua, Navegantes, and Rio Grande.

For the WSA/WSA2 services the ports of loading are: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Yantian; ports of discharge: Buenaventura, Columbia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Callao, Peru.

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